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our political panel is next, but first a check of the headlines. at least 21 people were killed and 125 others wounded in a series of car bombs and roadside explosions today in iraq. the blast mainly target the shiite neighborhoods in baghdad. recent attacks in shiite areas have spread fears among iraqis that sectarian violence may be overtaking the country again. police in pakistan say a suicide bomber was behind an attack that killed 83 people at a busy marketplace. the saturday explosion targeted shiite muslims just outside the southwestern city of quetta.
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authorities originally said explosives were packed into a parked water tanker and remotely detonated. in one of his final public appearances, pope benedict xvi recited the angelus from st. peter's square this morning before a larger than usual crowd. he thanked the faithful for their prayers and asked them to pray for the next pope. benedict officially steps down at the end of the month. roman catholic cardinals will meet by mid-march to select a new pontiff before easter. and those are the headlines. the house speaker says if the president wants something done, he's got to get the senate on board first. will john boehner's strategy backfire? our political panel is next with former republican congressman steve latourette, former chief of staff for vice president joe biden ron klain, jeff zeleny from the "new york times" and chief cnn political correspondent dana bash. de. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she?
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and you'll money. my choice. my meineke. steven latourette, ron klain and jeff zeleny and dana bash join me now. i want to talk about what chris dod, former senator from connecticut, now head of the motion picture association, he was asked whether he thought motion pictures, the entertainment media in general, adds to gun violence. here's what he said. >> well, it's sort of predictable in a way, and the -- if you go back over the years, i mean, there were people who suggested that comic books were the reason for people doing things, before any of this existed. >> didn't exactly say no, it has nothing to do with it, but he said what we ought to do is be looking at mental health. but i want to play something his fellow connecticut senator said, also a former senator, joe lieberman, about the entertainment industry and
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violence. >> i think the entertainment culture has to accept some responsibility. you know, in almost every one of these cases of mass shootings, it's the same pattern. a young man, troubled, reclusive, almost always involved in some kind of violent entertainment media gets guns and then kills a lot of people. >> and, yeah, all we're hearing on capitol hill is an assault weapons ban and universal background checks, nothing about mental health other than we want our records to be better about people who shoul't have guns but not about caring for those who are mentally ill or finding care, and nothing about the media. why is that? >> well, first of all, asking senator dodd about gun violence and movies is like asking the ceo of mcdonald's if a big mac is good for you. let me say that. i think he's right. i think it's mental illness. a great letter that went viral
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that said i'm adam lanza's mother that talked about her difficulty in getting her son, i believe it was, treatment, and where senator lieberman is right, i would add one other thing, five of the last six horrific shootings have been young, white men, late teens, early 20s, who have untreated mental illness, and until you get to that problem, you're really not going to get to the problem. >> you know, the president said i think in his first statement when he did the joe biden panel said i want mental health treatment to be as accessible as guns are and no one said a word about it. >> that's something that the folks at the white house have looked at, congress has looked at. look, congress has to do what congress can do. we have a first amendment. can't really do about the media culture, no matter how we feel about it. what it can do is what the president challenged it in the state of the union to do, which is to give the victims of these horrible crimes an up or down vote on universal background checks, an up or down vote on banning military-style weapons and an up or down vote on
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modernizing making sure guns stay out of hands that people who shouldn't have them. that's the business that needs to get done here in washington now. >> is it going to get done? sounded to me like schumer said they sound fairly close. there will be separate packages. they will cut off assault weapons from the package they will pass. >> the up or down vote, certainly the most rousing part of his state of the union speech, but a lot of senate democrats sitting out in the audience don't want to vote yes on this so they will vote no. that's probably good for their politics back home in arkansas and louisiana and other places. it is sort of striking that we're just talking about that. the white house does not seem to me to be pushing the whole package. we haven't heard from the vice president in a while on all that. we'll see if that changes. >> part of the reason for that, i mean, ron, correct me if i'm wrong, the white house gets the delicate politics of that, just like immigration, the president needs to use the bully pulpit but at the same point if they
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are making bipartisan progress, senator schumer and senator coburn, an a-rating from the nra, because the minute the president touches it could blow the whole thing up. >> or leaks a plan. >> or something like that. >> the president, we've heard aggressive, ambitious, however you want to describe his agenda for the second term. he clearly is back to his transformative presidential mode, that he wants to be remembered as actually changing the way business is done, changing the way budgets are done, et cetera. does this put him at odds with senator harry reid, for instance, who needs to keep a majority, or would like to keep a majority in the senate, and as dana mentions, he's got some senators in reagan -- i'm sorry, reagan, whoa, in mitt romney won states that could lose on votes on immigration, on gun control. are they at odds? >> i don't know if he's at odds with senator reid, but senator
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reid's first statement on the assault weapons ban is he couldn't bring it up in the senate because he has five or six red state democrats that are up for re-election in 2014, and it's a very delicate a very delicate issue. the president has been bold in his state of the union address and i think if he focused on what was doable rather than sort of this wish list, he could get a lot done. but what we find here in washington, both parties, is that they want to overplay their hands and go for what i want rather than what i can do. >> well, exactly. isn't there some thought that when you look at things like minimum wage. when you look at some of the other things on the president's agenda, those look more like political talking points for 2013 into 2014 than they do actual things that could happen. >> i don't think so, candy. i think what the president has set forward is bold, but achievable. i think times have changed. >> minimum wage. >> setting the minimum wage at $9, which just buys back the purchasing power they had had ten years ago is a pretty reasonable and achievable goal and doing something about guns,
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i think there is bipartisan support for that. i think the real issue here is whether or not we'll let the boehner rule, what used to be call the hastert rule that somebody can come to the floor of the house and let majority of republicans support it. those things have to come up. we have to have majority rule, not the boehner rule. >> but there isn't a boehner rule. he doesn't do that. >> we'll see on guns and immigration. >> now might be different -- but, look, to your point about red state democrats, somebody who covers capitol hill, as soon as the president nishiates something, i don't go to republicans, i go to the conservative democrats to figure out if something is doable. that's the dynamic, no question about it. got to go there first before you think about republicans. >> hang on for me, we'll be right back and we'll have a final look at what is doable and what isn't. you can part a crowd, without saying a word...
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we should take on once and for all the issue of illegal immigration. we should be working on comprehensive reform. the time has come to pass comprehensive reform.
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we need to change our tax code. simplify the tax code. focus on the hardest problems on clean energy. i will not walk away from the promise of clean energy. as long as countries like china keep going in on clean energy, so must we. making america a magnet for new jobs and manufacture. this blue print begins with american manufacturing. all of which is to say is what get said in the state of the union doesn't necessarily get done, at least not right away. let me ask you, imimmigration, reforming the tax code, some kind of carbon tax and manufacturing, you know, cleaning up the voting system, raising the minimum wage. what's really going to happen? >> i do agree with senator schumer from before that immigration reform in some form is doable. i think some movement on universal background checks is doable. who doesn't like manufacturing? it's like world peace. we can throw that in there, too. you know, washington is really
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like groundhog's day and the only thing i noticed from those clips is that boehner and biden keep switching ties from year to year. >> purple ties are in. >> ron, what -- take the other side and be honest with me. what's out there as a political weapon and not really doable realistically? >> well, i think the political will be if this stuff doesn't get done. you know, the clips show that a lot of these items have been on the agenda for two, three, four years. the president is being very aggressive about saying, okay, it's time to get this done. immigration, close tax loopholes, raise the minimum wage. a self-inflicted wound by republicans if they don't act on these things. the public wants action. that was the message of 2012. the president has heard that loud and clear. he's making the press for action and now we'll see what the republicans and congress do. >> do you agree? >> the senate democrats, as dana was talking about earlier. specifically on energy and climate. a lot of those senators mary
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landrieu, mark prior and some others who are up in 2014 that don't want to take those votes. if anything happens on energy and climate, you have to wonder if it's an executive action. i think the white house is going to be much more aggressive on that in the second term. >> the epa, some power there -- >> as for immigration, there is this leaked proposal over the weekend. the white house is trying to stay out of it and at least be the best i can tell in trying to make this work. of course, it makes sense for senator rubio to be out there against the white house because he needs that for his base. but i still think something will likely happen on immigration. >> immigration, gun control -- >> i think immigration is by far the most likely. what surprised me this week is that i was at a breakfast with john boehner the day of the state of the union and he was very pessimistic about tax reform. as we were in all those crisis modes and we are about to get in another. we'll get through this and refund the tax code later. very pessimistic saying people in his caucus just think the will isn't necessarily there
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because -- >> it's another way they think to raise taxes, right? >> exactly. they've been talking about the fact that they're done with revenue, meaning raising taxes to get to any kind of deal. they're just going to talk about spending. so, that actually was a little bit surprising and kind of depressing. >> but i think, candy, when congress faces the hard choices sequester tees up between firing teachers, kicking kids out of head start and having long lines at the border. what you saw earlier in the show, all those things in closing some loopholes. that loophole closing thing will start to look more attractive. >> i have to say since i don't have any time left, you totally disagree with that. >> i do. comple people completely forget that it was to get a budget deal a year ago. you can walk away from it and blame republicans, it doesn't make any difference. >> thank you, guys, so much
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